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Frequently Asked Questions


Photographic films requires chemical processing before you can see images on the film. In processing the photo-sensitive emulsion is put through several chemical baths that react with the latent photo sensitive images on the film to create the image. Further baths then clear, fix the images and wash the film. The number of baths varies greatly according to what type of film is being developed. Processing is a separate stage from film scanning (or digitising).

• We hand process all vintage films ourselves.
• We outsource all colour negative and colour reversal to films professional labs for machine processing.

• For standard turn-around processing, we process on a weekly basis. Films are sent to the lab on Friday mornings, so please ensure we receive your films by latest Thursday of each week for your film to hit the next weeks run. Films are returned to us for scanning by the following Thursday (i.e. within 5 working days).

• Clients paying for the 5 – 9 working day rush will be scanned as soon as the films are back from the lab and files delivered Thursday / Friday or each week.

• Non-rush films are generally scanned within 5 working days of the films coming back from the lab.

48 – 72 hour rush jobs are processed on a daily basis.


• Yes we can look at your vintage films, but expect variable results.
• Kodachrome can no longer be processed in colour.  Results will be black & white and are very variable.
• Other vintage transparency films stocks yield unpredictable results, with often significant colour drifts.
• Vintage film emulsions occasionally degrade so much that they yield no results. Hand processing of vintage film is therefore not guaranteed to produce images on your vintage film.
• Standard processing turnaround time 10 – 20 working days.

• This is not a processing issue. If the film emulsion is clear (negative films) or black (reversal films) after processing this means the processing has been carried out successfully.
• Perhaps you left the camera switched on in it’s bag and the trigger was activated by another object pressing on the shutter release button.
• Or you’ve under exposed the film very badly e.g. shot a 50 ASA film at night time.
• It could mean the shutter mechanism on your camera is not working properly. To check, switch the camera on, open the film compartment and without a film in the camera, point the camera at a light source (like a window or light). Press the shutter release and angle the camera such that you can see light coming through the camera’s optical path. This can some sometimes prove tricky to do, but is possible. If you can see light coming through with the shutter release pressed on  – then the shutter is working. If not – get the camera serviced.
• The cameras fade control (variable shutter) may be locked on ‘fade out’. Check your camera’s manual to see if your camera has this function and if so, how to operate it. Follow the previous step (bullet four) to see if you can successfully see light coming through the camera’s optical path. If (after adjustment) you can’t see light coming through the optical path, then this suggests a malfunction and your camera may need servicing.
• The aperture on the camera may be stuck closed and hence under exposing your film. The camera could be in ‘manual exposure mode’ and the exposure locked on a high (closed iris) f-stop. Remember the higher the f-stop, the smaller the iris. Check what f-stop is displaying on the lens barrel or through the lens. For example, if it’s f-22 or f-16 then your iris is closed. Adjust the camera accordingly to open the iris or switch into ‘auto exposure mode’.
• The cameras batteries (or light meter batteries) may be low or dead. Check battery levels and replace, if need be. Remember some cameras take separate batteries for their light meters (e.g. early Canon and Braun Nizo 8mm cameras). Check your camera manual and purchase the correct battery cells where necessary.